Running, jumping, skating or even standing on the sideline for extended periods throughout a long sports season can cause sore feet. Give your tired and achy feet a treat after practices or games using any of the following five methods.
Warm-Water Epsom Salt Foot Bath
Soaking your feet for 10-15 minutes in a tub filled with warm water and a cup of anti-inflammatory Epsom Salt is a surefire way to revitalize fatigued and throbbing feet and ankle-related issues. Epsom Salt, available in supermarkets and pharmacies, minimizes and/or rids pain from minor sprains and general discomfort around the feet as well as other aching joints and muscles throughout the body. Bathing your feet in Epsom Salt warm water just before bedtime not only helps your feet recover but also relaxes your body and mind for a restful night's sleep. Bathing or showering with warm water is a form of hydrotherapy that calms the body, while bathing or showering with cool or cold water has an energizing effect.
Cool-Water Foot Bath
Just as placing your feet in warm water eases soreness and fatigue, a cool-water footbath produces a restorative or invigorating effect—especially after practices or games in hot weather. Immersing your feet and ankles in even colder water for just a few minutes also reduces swelling.
Massage Your Feet
Perhaps the most soothing way to lessen foot-related distress is to massage your feet. Sit and place your left foot across the top of your right upper leg. Grasp the bottom and top of the foot with both hands and rub slowly and deeply with your thumbs around the top of the foot from ankle to toes three times. Next, use your fingertips under the foot and press firmly from heel to toes three times along the sole. Repeat the massage for the right foot.
RELATED: The Athlete's Recovery Guide
Foam Roller/Tennis Ball
For another comforting means of alleviating foot soreness, sit and place your foot atop a foam roller or a tennis ball, then move your foot forward and backward several times from heel to toes.
Learn more about how to care for your feet using a foam roller.
Gently stretching your feet—either pointing your toes forward (plantar flexion), raising your toes upward or rotating your feet from left to right—reduces foot tightness or stiffness and diminishes heel pain associated with heel spur syndrome (plantar fasciitis).
Plantar fasciitis pain is especially felt in the morning from overnight stiffness from the ankle to toes and along the plantar fascia beneath the foot. Before stepping onto the floor from your bed, stretch the affected foot up, down and laterally and hold for 10-30 seconds in each position. Repeat three times. These stretches are great for helping eliminate foot discomfort and for erasing ankle and foot stiffness, either from prolonged sitting, standing, walking or running.
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